Spain: "Only yes means yes" law to be amended

The "only yes means yes" rape law came into force in Spain last May, but its interpretation by some judges has led to the retroactive reduction of sentences for more than 270 sex offenders and the release of around twenty offenders from prison. After fierce criticism, especially from the right, the Socialist government has announced plans to amend the law. Commentators welcome the move.

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El Periódico de España (ES) /

Too much scope for interpretation

El Periódico de España thinks it's good that the government is now yielding:

“In view of Podemos' stubborn refusal to amend the Ministry of Equality's flagship measure, PSOE now plans to present a draft for revising the law. ... It's true that some judges interpret the law as going against the legislators' intentions, but that doesn't mean the Minister for Equality Irene Montero is right to single them out as the only ones to blame for the reductions in sentences. ... If the law is open to such diverse interpretations, it's clear that it has technical flaws. Modifying it does not mean watering it down, but ensuring that it has the intended effect.” (ES) /

A fact-based revision, please! calls for a cool-headed reaction to the right's gloating:

“It's not easy to have a calm debate with so much background noise; it's difficult to put anything forward when the right and the far right politicians and media are relying on cheap demagogy and republishing the revisions of judgments as if they were sports commentaries. ... The leftist and feminist government would do well to avoid certain reaction patterns, because ultimately this is about them. ... We can all contribute to this by debunking false reports, not spreading disinformation and ensuring that the narrative of 'rapists on the street' does not influence the revision of the law. Because if we play at punishment and being the toughest, this is a game that the far right will always win.”